In my update last spring, I mentioned that China is becoming an aging society. With this in mind, the Christian Council in a community in Zhejiang Province started a senior citizens’ home in an area that was known to be “not friendly” toward Christians. The well-managed facility won praises from the community, and the council decided to expand the facility to include a hospice program.
The council then requested permission from the government to build a chapel within the senior citizens’ home. The government approved, and the chapel has been completed. The chapel, which seats 1,000, is large enough to serve both members of the community and residents of the nursing home. The hospice program attracted the attention of the provincial government, and they encouraged the council to submit a plan for a rehab hospital. After many prayers the council concurred and submitted the plan. The plan was approved, and the hospital should be fully operational soon. This will be the first Christian hospital established by the Christian church in China since 1949.
Relationships Rev. Todd Leach, mission pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, traveled with me to China in October 2011 to visit our partners in Shandong province. We have agreed to plan another visit in 2012. I presented a workshop at the World Mission Initiative Conference in Pittsburgh in March on “Presbyterians and the Church in China.”
The fourth China English Exchange is upon us. This week-long experience of Christian community among Chinese and American participants will take place June 13-26 in Jiangsu Province (Nanjing and Huai’an).
It is not too late to sign up for the “Presbyterian Heritage Discovery” tour of China October 15-27. The Outreach Foundation will visit Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Beijing as we discover our Presbyterian mission heritage in China and witness the vibrant church today. Call Lisa Dill (615) 778-8881 for more information.
The China Christian Council has recently approved the publication of two sets of Sunday School curriculums for first graders. Each set contains a teacher’s guide and student’s workbook. We have reached a preliminary understanding with the Chinese leadership to translate and contextualize the new three-volume format of the Navigators’ 2:7 Series. We are currently working on copyright details and the contextualization process with all parties involved.